Cover art

Cafe International
The Card Game

Published by AMIGO Spiel
Design by Rudi Hoffman and Roland Siegers
Price 6.99

Scant reporting yet of my EuroGenCon experiences so I present to you one of my gaming finds. I have often seen poor Byll struggling to pack his holiday games and having to cram a big box containing Cafe International, the boardgame, into his bag. So when I was wandering the trade hall, trade tent to be more specific, this little item caught my eye. With a box measuring 2x9.5x12.2 cm Cafe International: The Card Game is a pocket rocket of a game. Easy to learn and play, even players unfamiliar with the original boardgame. The game consists of 120 playing cards and a multi-ligual set of rules, while a european game in feel I feel that rules translations for other countries represented in the game (eg China, Russia, India) would have complimented the 'international' feel of the game. It also accommodates 5 players

For readers not familiar with the original game, you are a waiter at the Cafe International, struggling to fill your tables and scoring points for optimum placement of male and female guests. Remembering that you need to place cards so that either mixed couples, groups of two and one, or two couples of the correct nationalities are sitting at the correct tables. There are two decks, a smaller 'tables' deck and a larger 'customers' one. Game setup has 5 tabes in an 'X' format and players take turns laying up to one two or three customer cards from their hands and score points. If they can place to fill a table and/or place the same nationalities at a table you gain extra points! As tables fill they are cleared away to the discard pile and new ones put in their place. A players maximum hand size is twelve, so if they cannot place and are supposed to draw a 13th card they place one of their cards face down in front of them, where it will score penalty at the end of game.

Play continues until your deplete the customer deck, the tables deck, or a lucky player manages to empty his hand, when they have the option of declaring the game ended. The game play itself is fast and furious. Without a scoring board one player needs pen and paper to record scores and I would recommend you keep individual round scores and tally them up at the end, excercising your mental arithmetic. Some people don't like the X formation of tables and suggest two rows of three instead, but I'll need to play a bit more before I pass judgement.

Overall a good filler game that welcomes new players and gamers into the 'euro' style of gaming.